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August 27, 2009

Staff Moving into Healthier Zone

APL's "In the Zone," program entered its third year in 2009, encouraging employees and their families to think about health—from weight control and nutrition to stress management and disease prevention—and to actively manage it. The program—open to employees and their spouses or same-sex domestic partners—is sponsored by the Laboratory's Health Improvement Committee (HIC). An interactive external website provides employees with customized tips and suggestions to improve their quality of life, based on the confidential health statistics, family history, and lifestyle habits they provide. By participating in various healthy activities and completing challenges, participants earn money in the form of  FlexCredits that are applied toward the following year's benefits cost.

The program encourages staff members and their families to adopt healthier habits. Enrolled staff members earn points by attending lunchtime programs; taking an online health risk assessment; recording activities like exercising, eating healthier, and reducing stress; scheduling annual physicals; and getting flu shots. Earning points throughout the year entitles staff members to FlexCredits that can be used to help pay for elected benefits or be paid to staff through payroll.